Improvised Tools


When building, I’m sure we’ve all come across situations where standard tools don’t quite cut it. This thread is a place to share your solutions to these problems: there’s probably another team out there struggling with the same thing.
Two of our solutions:
We found the standard VEX wrenches to be hard to grip and only effective from one angle. We taped two of them together to create a wrench that works from a variety of angles. (we also have a set of 6 taped together, but that’s more situational).
Every robot has many tight spots, and sometimes you regrettably have to set up a screw or a nut in one of these spaces. We use commercially available mounting putty, shown here on the end of an axle, to reach into these spaces and place parts more easily.


I love both of these ideas not gonna lie. Probably gonna use them myself


Scotch tape on the bottom of the open wrench also achieves the same function of hold the nut to the tool.


I used duct tape and a metal bar chunk to hold my nylocks when trying to mount them. Works pretty well. I’ve also tried duct taping two axels together to use as needlenose pliers when I don’t have any. That’s a lot harder.

I’ve also chopped off an end of a hex wrench to use as a drill bit to build faster in a pinch, though I can’t reccomend this.

I’ve used wire cutters (/strippers combo) to snip off metal bars. I did that today, in fact. It can be destructive to the tool if done carelessly, though.

I’ve used axles as nail sets with a hammer when something bends and I need to get it out.

I used paper clips as improvised battery holders on a non-competition robot before. Worked surprisingly well.


The absolutely monstrous capabilities a tweezer with a rubber band has is freaking legendary!


The star allen keys are a little longer than the screw drivers